Republican Congressman Dave Joyce (OH) on Tuesday sent a letter to President Joe Biden (D) outlining his concerns regarding punishing staffers over their cannabis use and calling on the administration to “discontinue punishment of staff for being honest about their prior cannabis use and reinstate otherwise qualified individuals to their posts.”
In the letter, Joyce – a co-chair of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus – noted it is his understanding that the White House “has begun to remedy this matter” and points out that several states, U.S. territories, and Washington D.C. “have exercised their state’s right and enacted sensible cannabis reforms and legalization measures which have overturned decades-long policies that are both arcane and discriminatory.”
The letter also outlines the potential therapeutic role in pain management and post-traumatic stress disorder and its role in reducing opioid use.
“Furthermore, aside from the obvious impact to the employees in question, I am also concerned about the message the federal government is sending by penalizing those who chose to be forthcoming and truthful. Simply put, in a nation where the truth is considered malleable, we need to demonstrate to our young public servants that telling the truth is an honorable trait, not one to be punished.” – Joyce in the letter to Biden
Last week, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki acknowledged the controversy and indicated that only five “of the hundreds” of people hired by the administration were fired as a result of the policy. The clarification came after a Daily Beast reported “dozens” of staffers were suspended, placed on remote work, or asked to resign over their cannabis use.
In the letter to Biden, Joyce offered to work with the administration “on establishing an effective federal regulatory framework which recognizes that continued cannabis prohibition is neither tenable nor the will of the American electorate.”
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